Julian Assange has been “psychologically tortured” and should not be extradited to the US, a United Nations official has said.
Nils Melzer, the UN special rapporteur on torture, said the WikiLeaks founder would not receive a fair trial after visiting him in a British prison.
He said that although Assange was not being held in solitary confinement at HMP Belmarsh, limited legal visits and a lack of access to documents “make it impossible for him to adequately prepare his defence”.
“Mr Assange has been deliberately exposed, for a period of several years, to progressively severe forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, the cumulative effects of which can only be described as psychological torture,” Mr Melzer said.
“I condemn, in the strongest terms, the deliberate, concerted and sustained nature of the abuse inflicted on Mr Assange and seriously deplore the consistent failure of all involved governments to take measures for the protection of his most fundamental human rights and dignity.”